by Jim Gordon

Marc Mercier

Manufacturer: Esci email : jamesmgordon1(at)gmail(dot)com

The Esci Hummel is not a great kit. It's not even a good kit. Parts of it -or lack of parts- made me shudder to think. While the model can be made into a convincing replica, it will take work.

If you happen upon one at an E-bay auction and can't resist, let me tell you what you will need to do. Replace the roadwheels, replace or modify the tracks, and reposition the gun much lower and further forward. Thin the armor plates, convert the rear to late model configuration, and rework the barrel cradle. The wide open interior is sparse and poorly appointed, so plan on detailing, covering, or manning with a crew. I fixed or replaced all the things mentioned and actually had an enjoyable time doing it.

On the right a duplicate set of the original soft tracks as provided in the box. I cut a piece of one track and used it for the spare track on the front of the hull. Note that the cone-shaped return rollers are just as bad as the road wheels, I filed grooves in the middle of them for the tracks to sit in.

Perhaps the most satisfying fabricated part I made is the grenade deflecting screen grenate-bildshirm? protecting the top. There is an image on the internet of a Hummel with this street fighting improvisation which inspired my original design, which seems plausible in my mind. The screen also obscures the lack of interior. Finally I installed a ghost crew of 3 that filled the space in the fighting compartment.

Because of its flaws I put off building this kit for an eternity, but finally saw it as a series of problems to inspire new methods, and in the end its a mediocre kit that turned out nice, what in our hobby is more rewarding than that?


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